2007 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 32

Newsletter 32 – November 1, 2007       Bonnnie’s Kitchen  


by Bev Wilson

Take a look at your fall garden, and tell me what you see?

Does your quickly fading landscape, look like it does to me?

Do you see the work ahead, before the springtime comes?

Or does your memory fondly dwell, on all the tasks you’ve done?

Do the brown and bending stalks, trigger pictures in your mind –

Of daisies, phlox, forget-me-nots, and other blooms so fine?

Do the leaves piled high in corners, cause your lower back to ache

Or are you grateful just to see, the cozy blanket that they make?

Do you hate the cold of winter, and wish the warm would stay?

Or are you glad your plants can rest, to bloom some nice spring day.




For 2008, all of us at America’s Best Flowers have recommitted ourselves to growing the best annuals and perennials possible.  One result of this is a change to seasonal retail hours.  Our last day of business for this fall was Wednesday, October 31.  We have said a tearful, but temporary, ‘good-bye’ to our customers this past week.

We will be spending the next few months attending garden and trade shows, redesigning the greenhouse for your shopping convenience, performing necessary maintenance and cleanup, and growing beautiful plants for your gardens next spring.

To keep in touch, we will continue to send newsletters, on a monthly basis, throughout the winter, and will return to a weekly format in April, when we reopen.  

For 2008, we pledge to uphold our high standards with superior customer service and quality products.  We have traveled from coast to coast to find the best our industry has to offer, and are anxious to show you what we’ve found.  Be sure to watch your mail for pink postcards and upcoming newsletters regarding our Open House Weekend in April.

I’ve learned that “making a living” is not the same thing as “making a life.”

November Plant Care

With the first cold winds of winter, it’s so tempting to put away everything that has to do with gardening.  Dead foliage in the compost, flower pots in the basement, hand tools in their bins, fertilizers on the shelf, gardening shoes & gloves in the garbage (if yours look like mine do), and your garden hose on its peg in the garage.  Wait a minute. Let’s back up.  Before you say, ‘See you next spring’ to that hose, be sure to make the rounds of all your evergreens, newly planted deciduous trees, shrubs and perennials one more time each week until the ground freezes solid.

One of the most common mistakes gardeners make is to quit watering too soon in the fall.  All plants that have been planted this year need to continue to receive at least an inch of water every week to insure their winter survival.  This is especially true of evergreens.  Because they don’t lose their needles, evergreens continue to transpire(lose) moisture through them.  Unless this moisture is replaced, their needles can turn brown and drop, threatening their health for the next year. 

And don’t worry what your neighbors might think when they see you watering the bare stems of your trees and shrubs.  It will be them, and not you, replacing their plants next year.

It’s hard to understand how a cemetery raised its burial cost and blamed it on the cost of living.


Even though we have closed for the season, everyone at America’s Best Flowers is busy preparing for next year.  2008 will be filled with many special events, all planned with you in mind. 

Plan to join us in April for our Spring Open House, which will feature FREE kids’ activities, hot dogs and popcorn.  Other spring events will include our annual Herb Fest, a special Earth Day Celebration and Container Workshops.

The first Sunday in May is our annual “SALSA SUNDAY,” when we celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Latin music, free samples of chips and salsa, and a Salsa Container Planting workshop.  We will give away a $50 gift certificate for the best salsa recipe.

Enjoy special Mother’s Day activities and attend free classes in our “Ask the Expert” series that will cover many aspects of gardening, to help insure your gardening success.  And don’t forget our Make and Take Workshops

Our goal is to hold events that are interesting and helpful to our customers. If you have ideas for events, please let us know.  You can email us at ed@americasbestflowers.com or call 222-2269.

 When you’re swimming in the creek and an eel bites your cheek, that’s a moray.

Bonnie’s Kitchen


An easy slow cooker recipe for 12-16 servings. Great on a chilly autumn evening.

2 lbs. ground beef

2 cups diced onions

1 15 ½ oz. can kidney beans

1 15 ¼ oz. can whole kernel corn

1 14 ½ oz. can Mexican style stewed tomatoes

1 14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes

1 14 ½ oz. can tomatoes with chilies

2 (4 ½ oz.) cans diced green chilies

1 (4.6 oz.) can black olives, drained, sliced, optional

1 (1 ¼ oz.) package taco seasoning mix

1 (1 oz.) package ranch salad dressing mix (yup, that’s right!)

Corn chips for serving

Sour cream, for garnish

Grated cheese, for garnish

Chopped green onions, for garnish

Pickled jalapenos, for garnish (I just use reg. pickled peppers)

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet: drain the excess fat, then transfer it to a large slow cooker or stockpot.  Add beans, corn, tomatoes, green chilies, olives, taco seasoning, ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or simmer over low heat about 1 hour on the stove.

To serve: place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos. Ole!

Just before their first long deployment two Navy buddies were talking about the stress of leaving their families.  A senior officer, a veteran of many deployments, overheard the conversation and offered the following advice: 

“You must be sensitive to your wives’ emotional needs, “he said, “Never, ever, whistle while you pack!”

Everyone at America’s Best is taking this suggestion to heart.  While we are all looking forward to a little time off to rest and refresh ourselves, we will truly miss seeing our customers and each other on a daily basis.  I think we feel like school children at the end of the year.  Looking forward to all the fun the summer holds, but at the same time, anxious for the time when we will return – to see what the new year has to offer.

So for now, we say goodbye until the spring brings us together again.  Have a wonderful winter. May your holidays be filled with joy and love.



May the Holy Spirit Guide You!  God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
President Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627
https://www.americasbestflowers.com/home.htmlAlso President of The Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin  http://www.cfgw.org/ an Organization that is a division of the six group Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) a 3 Billion dollar industry with over 4700 businesses and over 43,000 employees in Wisconsin
Senator Representing Wisconsin members of the American Nursery and Landscape Association – ANLA
Also Board member of Garden’s Beautiful Garden Centers
Also member of legislative of Committee of WGIF
Also Board Member of (WGIF) Wisconsin Green Industry Federation

Carol and Ed Knapton, owners of Americas's Best Flowers You’ll Love Your Garden … It’s Our Promise! May the Holy Spirit Guide You! God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
Sec – Treasurer Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627